Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Change of location considered for Museum

LISBURN'S Irish Linen Centre and MuseumLISBURN'S Irish Linen Centre and Museum could be about to leave the multi million pound state of the art building constructed to house it during the 1990's.

Next Tuesday the Council's Leisure Services Committee will visit Castle House in Castle Street to establish its potential as a new site for the city centre's main tourist attraction.

This was agreed at its meeting on April 1 - just one day before the council's Economic Development Committee heard recommendations from planning consultants BDP about the regeneration of the Market Square area.

During the presentation BDP representative Mr. Derek Williamson discussed a number of proposed uses for specific areas of the Linen Centre and Museum.

His company's recommendations included

  • A 'building use review' of the site including analysis of floor space/use and identification of under-utilised areas within the complex.
  • 'Building 're-organisation of the Irish Linen Centre and Museum' through 'detailed feasibility studies and development of a preferred option'
  • Future marketing and management of the facility including the consideration of branding opportunities

Council officers are now preparing a report detailing a specific timescale of actions in regard to BDP's recommendations.

However, delegated authority to deal with the regeneration of Market Square granted to the Economic Development Committee does not extend to the Irish Linen Centre and Museum.

Concerns have been expressed in the past about low visitor numbers at the attraction and the cost to the council of financing and managing it.

However, the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum has received very positive publicity on a number of websites.

'' which helps people identify tourist attractions all over Ireland uses words such as 'fascinating', 'interesting' and 'extensive' when describing its collections.

"This is a particularly nicely laid out museum and although Irish Linen is not a topic you would expect to capture the imagination of children, it is in fact one that younger visitors greatly enjoy," the website adds.

Ulster Star